Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen
Now imagine if CLANNAD ~After Story~ was given an entire episode to explain the deus ex machina that occurred in the final episode: that is how Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu’s penultimate episode played out. Yakumo is finally dead (is he?) and Sukeroku kind of fetched him in the after life. The purgatory (I supposed it is all in Yakumo’s head) is lushly drawn and was ironically lively in contrast to the Shouwa Era backdrop in this show. Everything is explained clearly and there’s nary a plot hole in this smooth episode.
I was smiling (while shedding manly tears) for the most of its run, because we finally had an episode devoid of despair and the trio from the last season finally met again. Well, in the purgatory I suppose. Yakumo finally found his peace and you can see his joy when he finally ironed things out with Miyokichi and Sukeroku. The latter is just as likable as ever, and Miyokichi is just as hot and human as the last time I saw her have a line last season. I love the dialogue that went back and forth between Yakumo and Miyokichi. The former said his apologies but the latter does not need the. Perhaps it is her realization that getting intimate with a person makes you see their ugly side. Miyokichi still chose to idolize Yakumo right to the very end.
Then there’s the rakugo theater Yakumo burned, which I honestly chuckled because that purgatory surely has a lot of space to accommodate a whole building. Scratch that, the rakugo performance by Sukeroku and Kikuhiko destroyed me emotionally. That is because of a certain pillow that represents the one you want to be there to listen to your performance. Naturally, it’s Konatsu for Sukeroku and Shinnosuke for Yakumo. When Yakumo began to perform Jugemo, my tears started to flow nonstop.
Hey, that’s not the end of it. Remember the pinky promise Yakumo made to Sukeroku in season one before the World War? Yes, they did that again, this time because Sukeroku spent all his afterlife money on the purgatory. They will see each other again, they said. I was busy bawling like a kid when they promised that.
With that, the best show of 2017 is about to end. I will sorely miss Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen. Damn it.
Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2
Holy cow Studio DEEN! You did it again. The finale of KonoSuba 2 was enthralling, superbly animated and ridiculously humorous that I almost forgot that the previous episodes were middling. So the dude (Hans) Kazuma is sympathizing with is actually a Demon Lord leader, and he is as terrifying as the Axis Church’s wackos. Nope, not as terrifying as a serious Whiz but still scary.
Kazuma finally found his resolve to help Aqua and be a man this time. Since he knows Aqua can revive him as long as he’s not totally dissolved, he executed a brilliant and bold plan to face Hans. Couple that with awesome animation which rivals that of Maid Dragon, I swear to God I dropped my jaw on the floor in its climactic five minutes.
Beyond the lulz this finale produced, I found the credo of Axis Church totally endearing. A bit cheesy but it summarized how Kazuma and his group approached their enemies within their journey. That said, the finale of KonoSuba was enough to make us feel at ease that the show may begin to be stagnant, but it still has some tricks in its hands.
Do we need a third season at this point? Nope. I had enough fun and I think it will be bad for this show since we already know the kind of humor it pulls.
Little Witch Academia
Now, I’d say this is Andrew’s episode but I am always enamored with his chemistry with Akko. This time, Little Witch Academia mixed Harry Potter with Cinderella and some bits of shoujo-ai here and there; this episode is unqualified fun. The peppy presentation disguised the fact that it is another formulaic flair but I do not mind. Strong writing was its positive point and this episode presented some interesting developments.
I adored how Akko’s careless optimism was contrasted with Andrew’s smooth but caged demeanor. I guess the Love Bee joke ran longer than it should have, but it managed to squeeze some interesting dialogue between Andrew and Akko. The episode made me ship them real hard. Seriously.
Also, a montage of Dianna drooling over herself was priceless.
ACCA 13-ku Kansatsu-ka
Color me surprised. This downer is finally winning me over in its tenth episode. I am still not enamored with the plot it tries to sell, but ACCA can be poignant when it needs to. Of all districts Jean has visited, Pranetta is the most visually striking place we have seen. Suitsu aside, this place also has some emotionally compelling background as to why it exists, and why its leader is pinning his hopes on Jean.
I teared a bit when the district leader asked for a cigarette from Jean, then gave it back to him as a sign of his support. Another good moment in this episode was when Lotta asked Jean about Nino. Perhaps it is her naivety, but I also got sad with her reaction when she realized she won’t see Nino anytime soon.
For the main plot? Yeah, it’s on autopilot for the next two episodes. I demand a second season though since the first is just a big ball of worlbuilding.
Ao no Exorcist: Kyoto Fujouou-hen
Well, that was an awkward and slapdash climax. That’s what you get for making the pacing slow at the beginning then kicking the plot forward later when the shit hits the fan. Rin’s fight with the Impure King kind of lacked tension as it cuts from one character circumstance to another. Yukio’s fight with Todo ended with a cop out then Moriyama and Izumi made it because reasons. For the others? So why the hell did Mephisto act like an overseer in the event? Is he a big boss or something?
Overall, I was not that amused but the high parts really zing as expected of Ao No Exorcist. Do I need a third season? Probably not if A-1 Pictures intend to keep the overly somber nature of this series.
So Truck-kun did not kill Fuuka, but this episode certainly killed any kind of emotion I have for this show. Thank you for “assassinating” Koyuki’s personality by making her act out of her usual character. Thank you for making Haruna a doormat until the end. Thank you for brushing Mikasa’s more interesting subplot about his piano and his music asode. Thank you for showing a minute of Fuuka singing solo even when I do not know why the hell they presented that beyond the need to say she has gone solo.
God, what did this episode and this series accomplish in the end? Am I supposed to root for The Fallen when they just began to be a proper band? Am I supposed to sympathize with Fuuka because the one she loved got away, despite her not doing anything? Am I supposed to feel sorry for Koyuki for being the damned childhood friend although she’s flatly written? Is this a romance? Why am I not feeling doki-doki towards their character interactions?
Tell me, even the OP is misleading since the Hedgehogs randomly appear there despite getting a minute of screentime in the story. Crap. You know what? Just end this series. Seriously. I am out!